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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I'm looking at the product of the previous exercise. I've gone ahead and saved it off as Enhance colors.psd, found inside the 07_basic_correct folder. In this exercise, we're going to further increase the intensity of our colors not using the Saturation function associated with our hue/sat layer, because after all we're pretty much topped out there. And if we go any further, we're going to bring digital noise and other artifacts, meaning bad nonrepresentational information inside this image. Instead, we're going to use a less powerful but great refinement tool known as Vibrance.
But before we go there, I want you to notice something. See my cursor. See how it appears as an eyedropper. It's because the last tool I selected was here inside the Adjustments panel. It was the Target Adjustment tool. And it remained selected even after I hide the panel. You can run into situations where it remains selected even if you deactivate the Adjustment layers. So notice I've clicked on the Background layer. And yet my Target Adjustment tool is still active. If I click and drag inside the image like so, I will continue to affect the inactive adjustment layer which is something that really actually is never supposed to happen inside of Photoshop.
So I just wanted to point that out in case you ever run into that situation. I'm going to go ahead and press the F12 key in order to revert the image back to its saved state. Then I'm going to bring up my Adjustments panel again. Sure enough my original Blues Saturation value is reinstated at -40 there. I'm going to click on this left pointing arrowhead in the bottom left corner of the Adjustments panel to Return to my adjustment list. Notice that V right there. Go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on it to bring up the New layer dialog-box. I'm going to call this vib up and click OK because I am going to increase the Vibrance of this image.
The Vibrance value is selected. I'll increase it to 100, which is the maximum value. And the reason I'm doing this is I want you to see how this brings out the color intensity without bringing out noise and other artifacts inside the image. Now it can sometimes create some rough color transitions that you don't get with Saturation but it does a beautiful job with noise, which leaves a lot of people to think that Vibrance is inherently better than the Saturation value associated with hue/sat. That's not true. I'll demonstrate what I mean by that. They're both great tools.
You just have to know when to use what. Now Vibrance is an equal opportunity saturation lending tool essentially. What I mean by that is it increases the Saturation of colors selectively. Colors that start off with low Saturation get a bigger boost than colors that start off with high Saturation. So the poor you are Saturation wise, the more funding you get out of this function here. It also works different and hue/sat tends to affect the luminance levels inside of an image.
So increasing the Saturation of an image tends to darken it slightly. That happens to a much slighter extent with the Vibrance function. However, by itself it doesn't get much done. I'll show you what I mean by that in just a moment. Anyway, I'm going to take Vibrance down to 80 by pressing Shift+Down Arrow a couple of times. Then I'm going to tab to Saturation. Now this option right here has exactly the same name as the one associated with hue/sat and yet it works differently. Again, it avoids darkening the luminance of an image. It is more tolerant of noise inside of an image but it is also a lesser impact tool as well.
So it tends to work well and play well with the Hue/Saturation function. So I'm going to go ahead and press Shift+Up Arrow three times in a row to increase the Saturation of that image. It is however unlike Vibrance. It's going to affect all colors in exactly the same way. And we end up getting this affect here. So we've brought a heck of a lot of Saturation out in this image. Now here's what I want you to see. By itself, even though Vibrance up here has huge values. All right. It's got a Vibrance value of 80. And it only goes to 100.
We've got a Saturation value of 30. And yet if I were to turn off the hue/sat layer, notice it doesn't get much done at all. So this is what the original image looked like without any adjustment. And this is what it looks like with Vibrance. And it's associated Saturation value, alone. In other words, not much, but when we combine it with the powerful blunt instrument of hue/saturation, we get an awful lot done, as you can see right there. What I'm going to do here is I'm going to press Shift+F in order to switch the Full Screen mode. Then I'm going to zoom in our image so that you can see that we just have a ton of Saturation now.
I'll move it over to the side a little bit. I'm going to press Shift+Tab in order to bring up my right side palette. We've got a ton of Saturation in this image, and not a lot of noise. There is noise cropping up inside the image if you inspected carefully, but here at 100%, it's very difficult to see. So this is the original image that we started with at the outset of the previous exercise. You would know this color was even there. And this is what it looks like now. Thanks to the combination of hue/sat and Vibrance working together inside Photoshop.
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